Monday, December 31, 2012


The year has passed
And opportunities have been
Seized, or missed.

What will 2013 bring?
Will chances be missed
Or taken?

We may try
But we really can't predict
What will happen.

But we do have choices
And they affect our future
For good, or for bad.

Make them with care;
Make them wisely; then hope,
And pray, for the best.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Unfathomable

A twisted mind has torn
Our nation apart.
Innocent children have been
Sent to their graves
Way before their times.

The ones left behind
Are heartbroken and bewildered
By this senseless crime,
Leaving loved ones
Without their greatest treasure--their children.

This unthinkable tragedy
Tests the survivors ability to survive,
Perhaps their faith.
Making them wonder
How such a thing could happen.

But God is always in his heaven,
In charge of all,
Even when the WHY of such events
Is unfathomable.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Christmas Visitor

There are times in our lives
When we must take chances
On people and on things.

A man came to my house
On Christmas Eve
Asking to rake the leaves
For money to buy gifts
For his children.

I offered a donation,
Handing him a ten-dollar bill.
"I'd rather work," he said,
Taking up his rake and
Moving sycamore leaves
To the center of the yard.

Who is this man, I wondered?
The beggar of the Bible
Came to mind and I dismissed it.

When he was done,
I handed him half of my homemade fruitcake.
Eyes focused on the floor, he said,
"I hope the work I've done for you
Equals the love you've shown to me."

My "Merry Christmas" was a greeting
To the Jesus in all men.


Giftless Christmas

The year I was six years-old, I'd waited what seemed like forever for Christmas day to come. Since I had two siblings and money was tight, getting the bicycle I'd asked for was a big deal.  At least I halfway still believed in Santa Claus and he was going to bring my bike. When I heard my parents discussing Christmas in the dining room when they thought I was asleep in the next room, the other half of my brain told me they'd have to come up with the money for gifts.

"My salary has almost been cut in half," my dad said. "In this economy, I'm lucky to have a job at all."

"I know, Roy," my mom told my father, "but we have to do something for our kids this Christmas. They're only young once."

And I knew my parents. They would do "something." Somehow, I still expected to get that bike.

Two days before the big day, I had a bad cold and a fever. I stayed in bed. Even on Christmas morning, my mother said, "You're still sick, but you can come to the table for breakfast and into the living room while we open presents. Then it's back to bed with you."

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast of juice, bacon, eggs and grits. We three children ate as fast as we could, and then lined up by the closed dining room door waiting for our father to ceremoniously open it.
When he did, I first saw the box of presents my favorite aunt, my mother's sister, always brought. Since she had no children, she doted on us. Then I looked around. No bicycle. Where was it? Outside? Nope. It wasn't by the front door. My heart sank.

My dad played Santa. He called out names one by one. I opened practical gifts of socks and pajamas, but I quickly cast them aside. Then my mother handed me a card. It read:

"I couldn't make it down the chimney with your bike, but I'll have it delivered to you next Tuesday.

I stuck out my bottom lip. Then I started wondering how many children had a letter from Santa Claus. And I began to believe in him again. What did it matter if I didn't get my bike on Christmas Day? I was sick. I couldn't ride it now anyhow. I pressed the letter to my chest. It was a treasure greater than any bicycle.

I did get the bicycle the next week, but I wasn't home when it arrived. My parents made sure of that. I rode that bike for several years, but I kept the letter longer. Longer than my belief in the man in the red suit. When it got away from me somehow, I spent lots of time looking for it. But I never found it.  I guess that's part of life. Things getting away from you. Still, I treasure that memory of that giftless Christmas--it wasn't really giftless at all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm excited. My new book, BAITING THE HOOK, coauthored with David Wilton, will be released tomorrow, November 30.

In this sequel to TO CATCH A FISH, Davey Simpson and Pokey Merrill overcame lies that kept them apart and are engaged to be married. They're fighting to stay together and to stay alive.

Davey secretly infiltrates the KKK to protect his best friend, Ben, a black man running for governor of Alabama. Pokey secretly has experimental surgery to regain the use of her legs. Both secretly doubt if they are good enough to deserve the other's love. Amidst murder and politics, Davey baits the hook to reel in the bad guys.

Can Pokey and Davey survive the rough seas of insecurity, hatred and deceit. Can their love?

I guess you'll have to read the book to find out!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Gobbling It Up
     All of her adult life, Gramma LaBeau had the entire extended family for Thanksgiving dinner. It started the first year of her marriage and a total of ten sat at her table. Even though she didn't know how to cook, she told her in-laws, "I can read and I can follow directions." It was years, though, before she admitted she had to bake a second turkey that first Thanksgiving because no recipe told her to take the wrapping off of the turkey and remove the package of giblets inside before cooking it.
     Three years later, her sister had moved away and so had some in-laws, but her own two children replaced them. By the time she and her husband Don celebrated their tenth anniversary, the family and guests swelled to fifteen. The youngest child always said the blessing. After the noon meal, the kids would toss Frisbees, sometimes having to retrieve one from the roof.
     "Be careful climbing up there," Gramma would warn, "I don't want to have to visit you in the hospital." Then she'd rejoin the parents and siblings drinking coffee and munching on pumpkin pie and watch football games. Many stayed till late in the evening.
     The tradition continued and when the LaBeaus celebrated their thirtieth anniversary, a new generation of that family was well underway and the numbers increased. However, that was offset by people moving away or passing away. The ones still present continued to enjoy the turkey dinner and the camaraderie that followed.
     As Gramma got older and slowed down a bit, by the fiftieth celebration, family members started bringing side dishes and desserts. They also spent less and less time at her house after dinner.
     Sad-eyed, she'd say, "I wish they wouldn't gobble down their food and eat and run, but I guess I'm lucky they come around at all. Everybody's so busy."
     When Grandpa didn't make it through a heart attack and others offered to take over the task, Gramma refused. She continued to host the celebration and wearily washed her Haviland china and sterling silver every year after everyone had gone home.
     "Once a year," she'd say. "It's the only time we get together nowadays. I can manage to do this once a year."
     Then came the time she couldn't. The year Gramma died all of the family gathered in her kitchen and cooked the turkey the night before. The next morning, they set the dining room table with fine china, crystal goblets and Wallace sterling silver. It took all six of them to accomplish the task she'd done alone.
     The youngest child, age six, read the blessing she'd written herself: Thank you, Lord, for all those years we had with Gramma and her great food. I'm sure she's up there in heaven with you now and I bet she wouldn't even let you cook the turkey. We're going to eat the last pumpkin pie she ever made; we found it in the freezer.
     She swallowed a sob. Bye, Gramma, I love you.   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The witching night is here
And knocks come on our door.
Costumed kids hold out their hands
Saying, "Trick or treat."

A little goblin takes a fistful
Of Milky Ways,
Or Snickers,
And gobbles one down.

Taller skeletons seek bigger fare,
Some with voices changing
Make us wonder
If we should open the door.

Usually, though, they're just
Overgrown ghosts,
Moving into their teenage years
A bit slowly.

Then it's lights out at nine,
And the door shuts
Upon the spooks,
Till they return next year.

Mary S. Palmer
David Wilton and I will be doing another book signing at the LoDa Art Walk in downtown Mobile in front of the Mobile Arts Council  on Nov. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Monday, October 29, 2012

President Nolan White of the Baldwin Writers Group announced that Don McNair and I will be on a panel of speakers at the November 17 meeting. It takes place at the Daphne Library in Daphne, AL, from 10 a.m. till Noon. We will discuss writing techniques such as cliffhangers, pacing and foreshadowing. The public is welcome.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Signings:  David V. Wilton and I have a book signing at the LoDa Art Walk in Mobile 10/12/12 from 6 to 9 p.m. and in Gulf Shores at Orange Beach during the Shrimp Festival at Zeke's Landing (Shaggy's Restaurant) Sat. & Sun. 10/13 and 10/14 from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. 

Both books below will be available

Mary S. Palmer

TIME WILL TELL - Science-Fiction
TO CATCH A FISH - Novel (co-author David V. Wilton) 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Tale

Who's There?
     I heard the familiar loud popping noise, but it didn't frighten me. It comes from behind my TV or somewhere on that side of the room every night. Or I hear noises near my jewelry armoire on the opposite wall, near the chest of drawers, or in any part of my bedroom. Have for years. It varies from being almost inaudible to sounding like a person's tripped over a chair or a picture fell off the wall. Other times, it's more like a huge branch being snapped in half. I rarely find the source.
     A few minutes later, though, a different, louder noise in the hallway got my attention. It sounded like a person staggering down my long hall was bumping into the walls every few feet.
     With a disbelieving sigh, I got out of bed and turned the knob to open the bedroom door and see what my resident ghost was up to now. I did this with every confidence that I wouldn't find out. The ghost that we named Ezechiel was a figment of my imagination. I knew that.
     As I cracked the door asking, "Who's there?" I expected no response, but I also had no qualms. Even though we rarely called him by name, we knew all about Ezechiel. He was a poltergeist. He went bump in the night, made indescribable racket, rattled door knobs, and even disturbed our sleep when he got too loud, but he never seriously bothered us or made any kind of threats.
     Perhaps half-awake, I stepped out of my bedroom and peered down the dark hallway, squinting at the shadows coming from a light always left on over the bar in my kitchen about fifty feet away. I took a deep breath. Did I see a figure? No, couldn't be. My husband was out of town on business. No one was in the house but me. Right? Who was I asking that question, then? Oh, Ezechiel. Yes, or no?
     I decided that my mind was playing tricks on me. The form of a young curly-haired male in a dark T-shirt covered with blue daisies with white centers floated nearer. When it drifted to the wall, I clearly heard a bump. Illogical, I thought. Nonetheless, seconds later, another ka-klump made me shake my head. Taking a deep breath, I pinched my wrist to prove I wasn't dreaming.
     A very loud bird-chirping jerked me awake. Blinking twice, I sat up in bed and stiffened my shoulders. It was my alarm sounding that it was six a.m.
     Funny thing, though. I quickly noticed that the bedroom door--which I never, ever fail to close and lock when I turn off the bedroom TV before going to sleep--stood wide open. And, as I headed for the bathroom, I heard another solid thump coming from the hallway.
     Shrugging, I said with a yawn, "It's morning, Ezechiel, go away, and peace be with you." If he was there, he didn't respond.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween - Who's There?

Who's There?

My house makes lots of noises by day
Without rhyme or reason, I'd say.
So things that go bump in the night
Don't even give me a fright.
I've learned how not to care
Who's there.

MSP 10/2/12

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Signings

Book Signings in Mobile:


Mimo's on Airport Blvd. at the Loop - Sat. Sept. 22, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LoDa Art Walk - Dauphin St. Downtown Mobile Oct. 12, 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Come meet the authors - autographed books available - nice Christmas gifts.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Does it seem a little odd that Labor Day is a day of rest? I suppose it really means a day free from labor. As I recall, it was started to allow workers a day off, as they had few holidays. Nowadays, we get more holidays than we did in the past, along with other benefits. 
As for writers, many of us use such days to hone our trade. Case in point--here I am sitting at a computer pounding away. But you don't really "pound" on a computer keyboard as you had to do on old typewriters, so maybe that's a little less labor. Your brain still has to click, though. Sometimes that's more exhausting than physical labor. 
We shouldn't complain because working is our choice and it's better than being bored. We can also look forward to time spent with family and friends on this holiday. And food like ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs or even steak. Potato salad and ice cream (in sequence, of course) sound good, too. Most of us will take a break to enjoy a meal. 
Instead of complaining, maybe we should thank our Creator for being in a country where we can make choices to do what we please.
God Bless America.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A Labor of Love

Why do I write?
It's not always productive.
It takes up my time
And may be destructive.

I sit at my computer
And let the words form
Sometimes they're right,
Often they're wrong.

My characters tell me
Day after day
That I don't portray them
In the right way.

I fix one mistake
And then make another.
It makes me wonder,
Why do I bother?

Then come the rejects
That could paper a wall.
Are all of my efforts
Worth making at all?

I don't quit my day job;
I make time to write;
Sometimes on weekends
And often at night.

But joy's out of bounds
When that message comes:
"We'll publish your book."
I hear rolls of drums.

What a labor of love
This writing chore is,
But I won't change from it
To your job or his.

Mary S. Palmer

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Guest blog. All comments are appreciated.

When Worlds Collide: Discovering The Callings
Eleanor McKenzie

Let me first explain. I am a Northern Irish writer living in southern Spain; half a world away from Louisiana. I teach part time, and a few weeks ago, a former employer, Demand Media Studios based in San Francisco, invited me to return to write for them. I accepted. Employment and money are in short supply in Spain, which is yet another country battered by the Euro crisis.
The first article I picked up was titled “Characters in Loretta Theriot’s ‘The Callings’,”  a book co-authored with Mary S. Palmer. I’ve written several literature articles for Demand’s eHow site, so I went straight to Google and started searching. That’s when I found Mary S. Palmer and our worlds collided. In a good way. I would rarely contact an author, but on this occasion I decided to do it, mostly because I couldn’t find enough information on the web. Mary was so helpful I was able to write an article just from her notes.
The most striking thing about my contact with Mary is the parallel between the story she and Loretta Theriot tell in “The Callings” and an article I wrote back in 2004 about a young man in Oregon called Jordan, who found himself in a similar situation to Bobby, one of the main characters in Mary’s story. Both were juveniles when they were given sentences for murder and sent to adult penitentiaries. Both were troubled youths, and both had problematic fathers. In Bobby’s case, the father appears to be a cruel, controller. In Jordan Merrell’s case, his father was a professional lawyer who, following  a stint in Vietnam, had a diagnosis of PTSD that he never recovered from. Jordan was an adopted child and his father used him as the target of his frustrations.
Mary and Loretta’s book has another character, Robert, who goes to the same school as Bobby and grew up in the same parish (county), yet he became a priest. “The Callings” poses the question: how can two people from a similar background and the same place have two such different life paths. This question taxes sociologists, psychologists and educationalists everywhere. The answer is not easy, nor is it simple. So many factors are involved. Individual choices and responses to your environment are the key.
And then it occurred to me this morning: look at Cain and Abel; same parents, very different boys. What insight does the bible want us to take from this story? I know the main one I take is that it is personal choice that leads us to harm ourselves and others. Parents and family may contribute, but evil people also come from stable families.
I hesitate to use the term “evil,” it is a word that seems so damning that there is no way back from it, and once uttered – or written - it hangs there, brooding, dark and unforgiving. Yet sometimes “bad” doesn’t quite hack it. I am not a church-going Christian, but as I wrote to Mary, my belief in God is solid. I’m not so sure about an entity called the Devil. But then, if I think of God as a divine energy, it makes some sense to name the dark, negative energy I know exists, “the Devil.”  I choose Light, but I know many who are inexorably drawn to darkness.
I’m still waiting for my article to be published on eHow, so that all Mary’s fans can go and have a read.  I also hope that the article might bring “The Callings” a bigger audience and make more people consider this issue of choice. Do some people have no choice? Or do we always have a choice? I’d be interested to hear what some of you think. ++

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Authors have to spend time doing unusual things. As a writer, I have spent the last few days proving that to be true by LYING. Oh, wait a minute, don't misunderstand. I was not telling untruths. My lying involved something totally different.
First, I did a search/find for all of the ly's in my manuscript. Doing this enabled me to identify many adverbs and remove quite a few of them, especially when they were redundant. One such example was "quickly rushed." How can you rush without doing so quickly? Another was "yelled loudly." Well, you can't yell quietly. I know I could save time by not using these adverbs in the first place, but when an author gets on a roll in a scene, he, or she in my case, doesn't want to lose a train of thought. So, we plug on and revise later.
The other syllable of lying is ing. And it's really easy to use too many words that end in these three letters. Of course, syntax is important, and sentences must vary in structure and length, but you shouldn't start every other one with a participle. This is an even bigger fault if you use the same words repeatedly. Waiting, turning, and making become boring in a hurry. Is it easy to avoid repetition and to rack your brain for appropriate restatements? Nope, but it's worth the effort.
One more thing. Don't forget to find those pesky exclamation marks and remove the misused ones, which is often quite a few. They tend to slip in where they aren't needed and an excess of them calls attention in the wrong way. At least they're easy to delete and replace.
It's no fun to sit at a computer for hours searching for these words and punctuation marks and revising accordingly. But readers often stop reading if they see too many of any of them. Revision isn't easy. It's like life. And if anybody ever told you life was easy, guess what? They were LYING! in the literal sense of the word.
I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

August's Hope

The sultry days of August
Are not the worst of all,
Because there is the promise
They'll soon give in to fall.

Still, while it's hot and humid,
And sweat is on our brow,
We do begin to wonder
Just when, and even how.

Heat now seems to be endless,
But summer's almost gone,
And then we'll moan and groan
When will winter be done?

When spring's around the corner
And ice is melting fast,
Then we begin to ask,
Just how long will it last?

There is no pleasing humans;
Our nature's discontent.
Might as well make the best of
Whatever we are sent.

The seasons come and go--
Summer, winter, spring and fall--
We're powerless to control them;
Why not enjoy them all?

Mary S. Palmer

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


A madman with tear gas and a gun
Caused havoc in Aurora
In the Century Theater,
Leaving victims bleeding and dying.

Horror, panic, unimaginable fear,
Bullets flying through the air,
Landing everywhere,
Hit young and old alike.

Disguised as the Joker,
This red-headed rogue
Made no jokes;
He let his guns speak for him.

Among death, love abounded.
Many risked their lives to protect
Wives, children, sisters, brothers,
Maybe even strangers.

Our hearts ache for the innocent
Killed and maimed by this man
Without a care,
Without even a motive.

Such hate is hard to fathom,
He seems without a soul,
Hell-bent on destruction.
Only God knows his intent.

No one has the right
To blight our lives this way,
Spreading chaos everywhere,
Causing a curse upon us.

Now fear has put us in a place
Where we don't want to be.
No peace on earth; instead,
Our planet becomes dystopia.

Mary S. Palmer

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fourth of July - Independence Day - 2012

F-orward they went
O-ut into the unknown
U-nified in
T-rue to their beliefs
H-eld in high esteem,


J-oined forces
U-nder God,
Y-ielding to none.

Without the Declaration of Independence and the Revolution, none of us would be here in the United States of America with the freedom and rights we all enjoy. Our country may not be perfect, but we do have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. May God bless us all and keep us independent.

Friday, June 29, 2012


This acronym expresses what I think it means to be a Musan:

M - means many genres of writings are published
U - shows unity between writers and the publisher
S - proves that satisfaction is insured
A - is for added perks
N - means nothing is withheld

Since I like to write in different genres, this is important to me. I also appreciate having a camaraderie with people at all levels of publishing and to know they want to satisfy both their authors and their readers. Other added perks include the Yahoo e-mail group where ideas are exchanged and blog sites are available. It's a plus, too, to have facts and figures regarding sales always available to authors.

Musa has already released two of my books--TIME WILL TELL (science-fiction) and TO CATCH A FISH (a novel, co-authored with David V. Wilton),  with a sequel, entitled BAITING THE HOOK, due for release November 30, 2012. I feel confident that my books are in the best hands with MUSA PUBLISHING COMPANY. Please see Musa's "About Us" section on their webpage for further information.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Symbol - Flag Day, June 14
It's been spit on and stepped on
And even burned,
But nothing can destroy
This symbol of freedom.

People being allowed
To desecrate it
Proves that the United States
Is a free country.

Those of us who care,
The ones with respect,
Pick it up, shake it off,
And hang it high again.

In the land of the free,
And the home of the brave,
Let our flag's red, white and blue
Forever wave.
Mary S. Palmer

Friday, June 1, 2012


You catch more than fish, don't you?
In the waters of the bay
You seek, not just a bite on your line,
But, also, words shared with a friend
In a time of quietness and peace.

When you are lucky and a string of fish
Dangles from the side of the boat,
With a gleam in your eye, you forget the chore
That will be yours--the messy scaling and gutting--
And anticipate the pleasure of
Giving them to a friend.

Not many people realize, as you do
That what you really catch to keep
Is what you give away.
The form may be fish,
But the gift is love.

Mary S. Palmer

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My play, MURDER MOST SOUTHERN, at the Mobile Carnival Museum May 26, was a sell-out and a huge success. The well-cast actors and actresses did a superb job as did the director Virginia McKean. All had a great time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


The men and women who serve
In the military
Deserve our respect and thanks.

They give up "normal" lives
To protect us,
And keep us out of harm's way.

Whatever branch they choose,
The Army, Navy or Marines,
They guard the U.S. shores and interior.

They also fight on foreign soil,
Far from home,
Keeping the enemy from our land.

They secure our country's freedom,
Sometimes at the cost
Of their own lives.

Remember them Memorial Day
And say a prayer
For their safety as they serve.

Mary S. Palmer

Five members of my family served in the military, some during wars. Fortunately, they arrived home intact. They gave up some of the best years of their lives to protect our freedom in the United States of America. I honor them and thank them. I also salute all who have served in the past and those who are serving in these trying times. May God bless them and keep them safe.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

To the Schumann Music Club of Mobile, established 1894. Member of the National Federation of Music Clubs dedicated to the preservation of classical music.

I raise my eyes to heaven,
And music makes my soul sing
When I hear the tone
Of violin strings.

My heavy heart is soothed
By a song
That's light and gay;
It shows the way.

And the playing of a piano,
In tune and sync,
Can quickly take me
To the brink.

Oh, what can so inspire,
Or lift our spirits higher,
Than well-presented music
That sets our hearts on fire?

Life has its problems
That all must face,
But music can refresh us,
And set such things in place.

In music, there is beauty.
In music, there is prayer.
It soothes; it offers comfort.
Let's keep it everywhere.

Mary S. Palmer

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


A long time ago, I was at a convention and heard a speaker say, "I must have time to think, for doing gets in the way." Those words stuck with me.

Especially in today's world of constantly changing, complex technology and multi-tasking, we tend to "do" all the time. Sometimes we take action before even considering exactly what we want to accomplish or how it can best be achieved.

Is this productive? Or is planning an important part of reaching goals? What comes to mind is another expression: Getting there is half the fun.
I think that could be true in work-related efforts as well as in other areas of our lives.

Thinking things out may be harder than just taking action, but it may prove to be more efficient.

When writing, I don't make an outline on paper, but I have a sketchy one in my head. While I let my characters lead the plot forward, I still keep my eye on them to be sure they're going in a logical direction. I have to "think" it out before I "do" put words on paper. If I let what the characters are "doing" get in the way of what they're "thinking", readers would probably be confused.

Thinking takes time and effort but it's worth it. I agree with the speaker: I should take time to think and prevent doing from getting in the way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Mother's Last Thoughts

Arthritic fingers dance across
The restraining tray of the Gerry chair,
Making crochet loops or
Knitting one and purling two.

Once in a while
Vacant eyes raise and
A week voice begs,
"Where are the children?"

No longer can her head
Be held high; it slumps again
And the fingers work
What was once their magic.

No doily will result
From the energy expended
But those treasured objects from the past
Will keep their places of honor.

With great effort
Remembered responsibility again
Brings the question:
"Where are the children?"

A Mother

Mothers who care
Want things for their children
They didn't have.
A good education,
Or piano, guitar or dancing lessons,
Maybe a course in art.

They may also want
To share parental love
Missing in their own lives.

With God as the center
Such love can be shared
And reach others by extension.

MSP - 5/2/12

Sunday, April 29, 2012

CORRECTION: My play MURDER, MOST SOUTHERN, is going to be held MAY 26, 2012 at the Mobile Carnival Museum at 7 p.m. Please see the website for more details.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Time Management

Like everything else, writing takes time. Authors have busy lives and obligations that must be fulfilled, so they often put off sitting down and putting thoughts on paper. Sometimes they feel that they must obligate themselves to hours at a keyboard to be productive, but that isn't so.

When my six children were young, I learned that you can use small blocks of time efficiently. That habit became very helpful. Many times, I have a thought that I jot down and later develop into a scene. Or I may have fifteen minutes to write one. Once I get the words on paper, I can polish up the writing when I have more time.

We can do more in a few minutes than we think. For example, the other morning before leaving for work, I had about ten minutes. Instead of telling myself that wasn't time enough to do anything, I watered my plants. One more thing not to get in the way of writing later in the day.

Everybody gets twenty-four hours a day; we also get to choose how we use it. Whether that includes wasting it or using it efficiently is totally up to us.

Happy Writing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Play - MURDER, MOST SOUTHERN, to be produced

April 16, 2012

I was excited to receive an email yesterday saying that a play I wrote several years ago is going to be produced.

Entitled, MURDER, MOST SOUTHERN, it will be presented at the Mobile Mystery Dinner Theater on MAY 26, 2012, at Mobile's Carnival Museum at 7 p.m.

The website is

These plays are most entertaining and the dinners are superb. Space is limited, so it is good to make reservations early.

Friday, March 30, 2012

April's Child

Janie was the third child
But no surprise,
Except that she was born
On April Fool's
With two front teeth.

Her Irish parents,
Who love music,
Spotted talent in
Their daughters
And nourished it.

They bought a used piano and,
At a sacrifice,
Made sure Janie, Alice and Mabel took
Lessons in piano, singing,
And the violin.

Aprils' child played once
With a symphony orchestra.
But her mother didn't agree
To let her pursue
What she called, "An unladylike career."

Janie still sang in church
And played the organ there.
She also played the piano
For her own pleasure
And that of her family.

When the strings of her violin
Became broken,
Oddly enough, they were never replaced.
And her children
Never heard her play that violin.

But they did hear April's child brag
Shortly before she died:
"I still have all my teeth, even the ones
That replaced the two
That I was born with."

Mary S. Palmer

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Booksbyauthors - New Orleans by New Orleans - just notified me that my story THE BIG CITY has been accepted for publication. These stories about New Orleans will be published in a book with a launch in late April 2012.

I'm honored and thrilled to be included in this selection by "an independent panel of New Orleans-based authors, publishers, community leaders and journalists."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blurb from TIME WILL TELL - page 77

Tim O’Hara had been out on the town. Upon reaching the front steps of the wooden porch, he could not remember if there were three or four. As he gingerly put his left foot on the bottom step, he began counting them aloud.
“One, two, free, izzit four, fourah? Sh-hh, can’t wake Mabel. Mabel’ll kill me. Woo—ooe, is she gonna’ be mad.” He scratched the stubble on his chin and with effort raised his two hundred pound bulk over the last step. The pitcher of beer he drank had reached his brain. His vision was blurred and double. Stumbling and falling forward against the front door, he knew the damage was done. Mabel was sure to awaken now.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


About writing, or anything else: You can if you think you can; if you think you can't, you're still right.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Sci-Fi, Oh, My!

It's out; my book's out,
And I'm ready to shout.

I need readers now,
But I must find out how.

So promote I will
To keep my big thrill.

And perhaps they'll take note,
If they like what I wrote.

Hope this turns out swell;

Mary S. Palmer

Monday, March 5, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

The Wearin' of the Green

St. Patrick was a former slave,
But, no, he never was a knave.
A thousand years we've celebrated
This very famous, now belated.

In many countries parades abound
With celebrations all around.
They line the streets and wear the green;
The Irish in them's clearly seen.

A little praying's also done,
The walking's just part of the fun.
Corned beef and cabbage is the fare
At dinner time when all reach there.

And many a mug or two is lifted
To honor Patrick as the gifted,
The one who drove away the snakes,
Those pagans Irish felt were fakes,
And saved the Irish from their fate
On that a long, long ago date.

But by the time the day is done,
And revelers have had so much fun,
Perhaps they've lost their memory of
The Patrick that they pledged to love.

Mary S. Palmer
March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Book

My science-fiction novel, TIME WILL TELL, will be released as an ebook on Friday, March 9, 2012. Please see my web page at for more details and a photo of the cover.

It's available at Musa Publishing and

Thanks for your interest in my work.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Please see my web page at or

Friday, February 24, 2012

Memorable Moments

When I have an interesting, unusual, or frustrating experience, I try to benefit from it by working the incident into a book. I had one yesterday.

It was a very foggy morning. On my thirty mile drive to school, in an effort to clear the back window my car, I somehow hit a button that turned on my flashers. Cars passing by were holding their hands out of the windows, flapping fingers together to let me know I was signaling an emergency that I obviously didn't have.
They didn't know it, but I did have an emergency, in a way. Even though I've had this car a year, I didn't know how to turn off those flashers.
By then, I was on the interstate going sixty-five miles an hour. If I pulled off, it would delay me and I'd be late. I had a test scheduled and I'd threatened my students with penalties if they were late; I couldn't be late myself.
So I kept speeding along, pushing every button I could find, thinking the one I needed had to be connected to the light switches or somewhere in that area. It didn't work. I wondered if I'd turned off my lights when they should be on in a fog. I even sprayed the windshield a few times and nothing happened, except it cleared the fog off of it.
I tried shutting off the motor at a red light but those determined little buggers didn't stop blinking.
What to do? I decided the answer was "Nothing." I had to just let other drivers think I had an emergency or that I was just a bit kooky.
When I reached my destination and parked my car, I solicited the help of the first person I saw. In minutes, the young man reached inside, found a triangular red button in the center of the dash and pushed it. Voila! The annoying flashing stopped.
I bet I'll never forget where that button's located.

I don't know where I'll use this yet. But look for it in one of my books someday.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Books by Authors

I'm pleased that some editors saw TO CATCH A FISH in Octavia's Book Store in New Orleans and asked me if I'd like to submit something for an upcoming issue. The theme is centered on New Orleans stories.
I sent them a short essay about a New Orleans experience and a poem about The Big Easy. I hope they find a spot for them and I'll post it if they do.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Life Is; Life Isn't

Life Is; Life Isn't:
Memories of Mardi Gras

"You don't bury a husband
without losing weight,"
she said.
Her long dress touching the
floor hung a little looser
Than it had last year when he
was at her side.

"I have a young son here who's
got me out of breath
from dancing."
She sighed and touched a wet
spot on the corner of
her eye.

It's Mardi Gras in Mobile,
And the ghosts of the past
Still haunt the halls of the
Civic Center.

We see; we feel; we know
they never die.

Mary S. Palmer
First printed in Mobile Bay Monthly

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Way

When cupid's arrow
Hit its mark long ago,
One couple felt the piercing,
And love endured.

He doesn't see
That her hair is thinning,
Because he loves her.

Nor does he notice
The wrinkles around her lips,
Because he loves her.

Through fifty years of marriage,
He sees none of her faults,
Because he loves her.

She doesn't see
His stomach pouch,
Because she loves him.

Nor does she find
His unshaven face distasteful,
Because she loves him.

Through fifty years of marriage,
She overlooks his faults,
Because she loves him.

Like Jesus, both look beyond
The surface, to the soul,
Because they love each other.

Mary S. Palmer

Friday, January 6, 2012

Occasional Poem


Two men lived a century apart.
One was white; one was black.
Very different, they had uncommon things in common.

Robert E. Lee was a southern aristocrat
Who fought on the side of the south
In the uncivil Civil War.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate
Of civil rights who pushed his cause
To the death--his own.

They lived a century apart
In worlds that vastly changed,
And made things more the same.

Their names had similarities.
The letter "L" appeared in both:
Lee's last name and King's middle one.

Both lived life with a passion,
Fighting for a cause, as leaders
Who refused to succumb.

Separated in ideals at the time,
They are now both honored
On the same day--January 17.

Mary S. Palmer